by Karen Abler Carrasco
Had enough “monkeying around?” Are you starting to feel the big adventures and choices of last year unravel into a hundred annoying details to get the same results? That’s because the Yin Fire Rooster year is HERE NOW! The shift in energies can already be felt strongly, well before the official January 28th, 2017 start date. Some Chinese New Years’ energies take the first few months to shift our focus and realign our momentum, especially the yin ones. This yin year, however, announced itself “at the crack of dawn,” just like the Rooster itself.
Suddenly, in the midst of all the new explorations and projects into which the curious, insatiable Yang Fire Monkey year of 2016 lured us, we find ourselves getting bogged down with the mechanics of daily life. The forward momentum stutters and slows; our questing attention is corralled by the mundane. The people around us seem to press in on our sensations more keenly, their opinions feel more strident. Making and keeping appointments requires more effort. Even just getting food and preparing it seems to take more time and be more worrisome.
Yet, we are also more touched by the small everyday kindnesses we witness, and there is a growing, unifying wave of togetherness. If you pay closer attention this year, you will actually feel your tender heart expanding, growing more confident in making little overtures of love to everyone around you.
Welcome to the paradoxes of the Yin Fire Rooster Year, 2017. It will be a year of plummeting inward (yin rooster) while expanding outward (fire element) at the same time. Both the monkey and the rooster years are about “me”, “my” and “mine,” with one important difference: while the monkey can’t help but follow the path that pricks its curiosity regardless of who else is in the way, the rooster feels deeply its responsibilities to the entire barnyard. The rooster tends to the roost, and the flock who lives there. To any problem or task that needs doing, the rooster says “If not me, then who?” Remember the tale of the Little Red Hen? “Who will help me make the bread?” she asked. And then she did it herself. However, contrary to the traditional ending of that story, where the industrious hen refused to share her final product with the lazy farm folk who didn’t contribute, this year’s fire element warms everyone’s hearts, and sharing feels better, and more secure, than hoarding.
The Rooster year is yin, even though an actual rooster may appear more yang with his flashy stance and loud crowing. That cockiness, however, is serving to secure his own small, internal, yin world. The rooster is picky and critical, so the Rooster year is a finicky one. In it, we become overly sensitive to anything that comes near to our own sphere of influence. We can transform this into a positive quality by steadfastly remaining focused locally, letting the global arena take care of itself. The “roosters” that live in those distant areas will hopefully be doing the same, so we must trust them to take care of their own “barnyards” while we husband ours. There is certainly more than enough work to do to feed our own communities. Start scratching the rich ground for resources and peck away at local problems.
This year, concentrate and dole out your energy, or ch’i, wisely. We will be diving into the inner realm of emotion, and feeling compelled to focus on the “up close and personal” aspects of our lives. It will be a year of defining our boundaries, refining the details, strengthening our supports, cleaning out the “bugs” and putting things into a certain order. Be impeccable. The pun in that has great meaning here–be un-peck-able. Make things water tight, error-proof, ship shape. The more you refine and perfect your affairs–finances, relationships, health, career, possessions, the stronger and more profound your position in life becomes. The Rooster character loves elegance in all things, so refine every arena of your life and every object in it. Lavish your time and attention on completing any task to the best of your ability and take delight in adding small touches of Beauty to each.
This is not the same thing as decluttering. It is a call to scrutinize absolutely everything that you rely on for life and happiness. How sturdy are your underpinnings–housing, vehicles, savings, etc.? How smoothly do your daily routines flow? How healthy are your sources of food and friendship? This is the year to pour more loving, nurturing ch’i into the things that truly sustain you. For example, how well do you know your immediate neighbors? If you are like most U.S. citizens, not well enough. What if there were a disaster of some sort? You would WISH to gather family and close friends to you, but the reality is that those strangers next door would be the ones on hand to help and collaborate for survival.
This yin Fire year means our deeper heart leads the way. Use it for discerning what to keep and what to let go. Expand it by opening up to everyone you encounter throughout your day. Share your feelings about your experiences and ask others to share theirs. Learn to enjoy hearing divergent opinions, realizing that the more variety a community supports with loving kindness and tolerance, the greater its security grows. The more our neighbors feel loved and secure, the safer and more happy we all become. Harmonious living for all can grow exponentially from just one instigator—the Yin Fire Rooster, year 2017. This Rooster greets the new day with all the elegance, strength and vibrancy of its entire being, in service to the community. Let us all do the same.
photo credit: Bijoy Ki
2016, the Yang Fire Monkey Year
by Karen Abler Carrasco
On February 8th, say farewell to the introspective Yin Wood Sheep year of 2015, and open up to the expansive Yang year of the amazing Fire Monkey! We have another “big shift” year ahead. Switching from yin to yang, from the inner world to the big outdoors, is always a noticeable event, and when we add the expansive movement of the Fire element in bold Yang form to that shift, it becomes an even bigger jolt.
Knowing how the Five Elements of Chinese medicine work together to support each other can assist us to flow into this shift more easily. We are leaving two years in a row of Wood energy, which encouraged us to stretch up into new and unexplored territory, to use our intuition and reach for fresh inspirations. During this time, dreams of new ways to live on the earth more sustainably presented themselves, and we were encouraged to use the inner compass of intuition to make some new choices, or at least to clear away any old, irrelevant debris that no longer served us well.
Terah and dirt-tribe members Carolyn Kates and Jane the dog
Dear Essential Feng Shui Family,
Happy Yang Fire Monkey New Year! Into the jungle we go, a place Karen Abler Carrasco describes as the “passionate and generous realm of heart-centered fire.” This year’s expansive energies invite us to identify heartfelt passions that are too big to accomplish alone and collaborate with others to fulfill them. Once identified, synchronicity leads the Way, guiding us to the right people and the right places at the right time.
So let’s begin!
By Luckie Bosselman
WSFS Alumna and Practitioner
We will happily say good bye to the year of the Horse on Wednesday, February 18, 2015, and welcome in the more gentle docile Yin Wood Sheep. In the format of Chinese Astrology there are 12 animals, 5 elements and the energies of Yin and Yang. Each year there is a different animal energy in charge, there are two years of the same element (Wood, Water, Fire, Metal or Earth) the first of the two years of elements beings the Yang, which is more forceful and the second year is the more introspective Yin. Print a 5 Element Chart here.
By Karen Abler-Carrasco
WSFS Instructor and Mentor
Finally! The galloping horse comes home to rest and transform into a quiet sheep, grazing within the comfortable bounds of her beloved flock. Is anyone a little saddle sore? Longing for a warm, scented bath, a home-cooked meal and some quiet time in a soft bed? Good news, everyone, the gentle, generous Sheep Year is here to provide that!
The speeding Yang Wood Horse Year of 2014 brought both invigorating new growth and disturbing upheaval to the terrain of our lives. Many outdated structures and beliefs got trampled, while fresh alternatives and daring choices beckoned on the horizon. Most of us endured some uprooting of old routines or even radical shifts in the direction we thought we were headed prior to riding that wild horse. The trick was to steadfastly trust our lightning-quick intuition and Cosmic Help all year long. Some of us spontaneously jumped into new work and play, some of us coped with unexpected or uncomfortable lifestyle shifts, and some of us just sat by the continuous stream of change to wait for calmer waters.
By Karen Abler-Carrasco
WSFS Consultant, Mentor and Teacher
PLEASE NOTE: Read about 2015 – the Year of the Yin Wood Sheep here.
There might not be a bigger shift of energies in the entire 60 year wheel of Chinese astrology than this one coming up–the shift from two Water years of deep introspection to the fast-paced spurt of extroverted forward propulsion that the Wood Horse brings. Hold on to your hats, folks, and realize that you won’t be able to, nor will you want to, slow your horses in the New Year ahead!
This will be a promethean year, the Beginning of all beginnings, arriving around January 31st to February 4th, 2014. Full of uplift, optimism and compelling inspiration, we will be guided into purposeful action of the most elegantly simple and powerfully fruitful kind. After two years of feeling every revelation of corruption in the dark as if it was scouring our subconscious insides and wringing us dry of watery emotion, we are READY for this change! Light, hope and clarity of vision gallop in. Emerge from your cocoons, everybody, here we goooooo!